Thinking about Sanusi and his 18 year old wife – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

Thinking about Sanusi and his 18 year old wife – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha

I walked into the sitting room after stumbling on the trending topic. Former CBN governor and present Kano state monarch HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi apparently just got married to an 18 year old. I asked my husband: “Do you think it is ok for an 18 year old woman to get married?”

“You have answered the question already, you said woman not girl.”

I started thinking about the whole thing. Technically speaking, an 18 year old is a young adult and not a child. I have met incredibly precocious young people at that age that could comport themselves and are just generally together. My mother got married at 18 and so many other mothers I know. Not my generation, though. Only one lady married right out of my set in secondary school.

So, what doesn’t sit right about an 18 year old and a 54 year old man? If she got married to a 19 year old, it wouldn’t feel this odd.

If two teenagers got married, I would laugh and say how silly and romantic.

“Dem never see life… Anyway they will soon find out”

“These kids think marriage is only about love…”

The fact would remain that they are on equal grounds of understanding and probably knowledge.


HRH is a man with three wives and quite a number of children. He has seen it all and done it all. We know what he brings to the table. A wealth of experience, knowledge, fame and then well, a lot of wealth. What does the girl bring to the table? Even a precocious 18 year old is still 18. Apart from breasts that have never heard of gravity and taut abs (my abs have always been ingrown, never met them yet, I am assuming she is slender), an 18 year brings little to the table.

She may have an idea of the woman she aspires to be but a lot of growing up still has to be done and now she will do this with a man that is probably her father’s age mate. A man that will not only play a fatherly role in her life but will be her lover.

The power will be unequal. The freedom to decide the direction of her life will be subject to how magnanimous the husband is.

Can an 18 year old woman look at the man and say no to anything? Can he speak her language? Does he know what a ‘bae’ is or what it means to have eyebrows on fleek? Has he heard Drakes “back to back” and what does he think about Meek Mill’s comeback?

Can he relate with her? Maybe he finds the decision of JP Morgan on Nigeria interesting, can he discuss with her the implications of this on foreign investments? After a meeting with Northern Elders, can he bounce ideas off her on ways to pull the North East out of the tentacles of Boko Haram? Can he tell her his side of the story as CBN Governor under GEJ and she will understand the power play and political intricacies?

One thing is for sure, he can implant a baby or twins sef, and she will be able to give birth to them. For those that have made this discussion about whether an 18 year old can be sexually active or not, I am really surprised. Having sex has nothing to do with maturity or readiness to marry, it is simply a matter of genital fitting.

I would not encourage my children, male or female to get married at 18, I would like them to know who they are and learn life sustenance skills so that they do not cross over to a life of dependency. Let them know themselves.

But that is me sha.

Meanwhile, does anyone still remember this old rhyme

 Some like it hot

 Some like it cold

 Some like to put it in an 18 year old pot.

(Oops, I hope I remembered that rhyme correctly…)

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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